Africa Center faculty and staff served as hosts March 24 for a group of American University international relations students and several International and Counter-Terrorism African fellows who are attending National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
The students and fellows were invited to meet together so they could learn more about the Africa Center and U.S. Africa Command as well as meet in a joint forum to discuss African security issues. Africa Center public affairs outreach specialist Michelle Cavalcanti, who organized the visit, said it proved beneficial in having the NDU fellows present since it offered the American University students perspectives on different security challenges from all regions of Africa.
The students are college graduates and are enrolled in the American University Graduate Gateway Program, which is preparing them for either graduate or law school, or jobs with the government, non-governmental organizations, or private sector. The students work at internships Monday through Wednesday.
Michael E. Garrison, Deputy Director of the Africa Center, welcomed the students and fellows. John Kelly, Ph.D., Associate Dean, briefed the group about the Africa Center’s academic and outreach programs.
Following a working lunch and prior to a guided tour of the NDU campus, U.S. Air Force Colonel Chase McCown, Deputy Director of AFRICOM’s Washington, D.C., liaison office, presented a briefing about the Command and human rights training for African militaries.
According Claudia Anyaso, the students’ instructor, their visit to the Africa Center complemented what they have studied in international relations theories, the National Security Strategy, U.S. foreign policy towards the various geographic regions of the world, and as they begin studying transnational issues, international development, conflicts, terrorism, military force, the intelligence community, global finance and business, and NGO’s.
“Our visit to the Africa Center,” Ms. Anyaso said, “falls squarely into the students’ studies of conflicts, terrorism, and military force. Their assigned readings prior to the visit and to help prepare them to meet with the NDU International and CT Fellows were ‘Explaining the Bush Doctrine,’ ‘War in Afghanistan: Military Operations and Issues for Congress,’ and ‘The Salafist Challenge to al-Qaeda’s Jihad.’”
Other required readings included “Remarks of Assistant Secretary of African Affairs, Johnnie Carson before the Council on Foreign Relations,” “Africa: U.S. Foreign Assistance Issues,” and “The Global Economic Crisis: Impact on Sub-Saharan Africa and Global Policy Responses.” Additional readings included “Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa,” “Sexual Violence in African Conflicts,” and “Piracy off the Horn of Africa.”
No stranger to African affairs, Ms. Anyaso, before becoming a faculty member at American University, was a member of the Senior Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State. She served for 38 years retiring after having been the Director of the Bureau of African Affairs’ Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Ms. Anyaso was a Department of State member on the Implementation Planning Team for AFRICOM.